‘Testimony of a Thread’ screened at Goethe-Institut Bangladesh
It has been six years since the horrific Rana Plaza disaster shook the nation to its core. The tragic incident, regarded as the deadliest garment factory accident in history which claimed over a thousand lives and left many more injured, was indeed a wakeup call for many.
To mark the sixth anniversary of the catastrophic event, a production of monologues through video collage, titled ‘Testimony of a Thread’ or ‘Ekti Shutar Jobanbondi’, directed by Kamar Ahmad Simon, was screened recently at the auditorium of Goethe-Institut Bangladesh. It is produced by Sara Afreen and co-produced by NHK (Japan), KBS (Korea), PTS (Taiwan) and Mediacorp (Singapore). The screening was followed by a discussion session. Director of the institute, Kirsten Hackenbroch graced the event with her presence.
‘Testimony of a Thread’ sheds light on the zealous efforts of Nazma Akhter, Sommilito Garments Sramik Federation; Rubana Huq, Managing Director, Mohammadi Group; Dilara Begum Jolly, Artist and Performer who arranged a solo art exhibition in memory of the victims of Rana Plaza; Professor M M Akash, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka; and Zohra Akhtar Mili, Survivor and Widower of Rana Plaza Tragedy. Each individual’s point of view compels one to scrutinize the fact that had we been more cautious, then perhaps we could have avoided the horrific loss of lives, not only in the case of Rana Plaza, but in such similar cases. During the screening, the auditorium full of audience was transfixed, with each passing monologue, giving deeper insight into the matter. The last person featured was Mili, whose words of despair brought tears to many eyes.
In the race of globalisation, human greed often outweighs the risks involved with the ‘cheap’ manpower who are behind the industrialisation of Bangladesh. “I dread the fact that many are labeled as a ‘number’ after any lethal incident. Every individual who falls victim to a fatal accident is a character in their own right. Not a number!” exclaimed Kamar Ahmad Simon. “The very idea of assigning a number to a corpse haunted me.”
As a reason, Kamar decided to portray his point of view through ‘Testimony of a Thread’. It is a very unique undertaking by the creative filmmaker, in the sense that he feels it is incomplete, given the magnitude of the subject matter, and he does not promote it unlike his other projects. However, he attempts to showcase the work every year in April, in consolidation to his beliefs and in memory of the victims. Kamar’s humble prowess to go great lengths in order to preserve the quintessence surrounding the horrendous incident clearly resonates through ‘Testimony of a Thread’, lest we forget.